ORDINANCE NO. BL2017-581

An ordinance to amend Title 2 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws to grant full investigative authority to the Metropolitan Auditor in order to allow for independent audits and reviews of all Metropolitan Government departments, boards and commissions as well as the performance of contracts by entities that contract with the Metropolitan Government.

WHEREAS, it is the responsibility of the departments, boards and commissions of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County to properly handle and account for the funds budgeted and allocated to it by the Metropolitan Council of Nashville and Davidson County; and

WHEREAS, it is the Metropolitan Council’s responsibility to be accountable for the money provided to it by the citizens of this city and county and to verify such funds are being spent consistent with the actions taken by it; and

WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Council finds that, in providing for that accountability, there may be times where an entity must be called upon to review, fact-find, and audit Metropolitan Government departments, boards and commissions, as well as the performance of contracts by entities that contract with the Metropolitan Government, in order to ensure that funds are properly spent and accounted for; and

WHEREAS, in reviewing the current Metropolitan Code of Laws, the Metropolitan Council finds that the metropolitan auditor, as an independent entity within the Metropolitan Government, is a source that can be utilized when a review and audit needs to be conducted and should, therefore, have all the necessary powers and authority that comes with conducting an independent investigation; and

WHEREAS, on November 7, 2006, the voters of Davidson County, Tennessee, approved an amendment to the Charter of the Metropolitan Government by adding a new Section 8.121 thereto to establish a new and independent Department of Audit directed by the newly-created position of Metropolitan Auditor and generally overseen by a newly created Metropolitan Audit Committee; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY:

Section 1. That Chapter 2.24.300 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws is hereby amended by creating a new subsection to read as follows:

H. The metropolitan auditor, in conducting any reviews or audits, shall have full authority to conduct an independent investigation of any and all departments, boards and commissions of the Metropolitan Government, as well the performance of contracts by entities that contract with the Metropolitan Government. Such authority shall include, but is not limited to, the ability to review, research, and conduct interviews, along with the ability to have access to any and all necessary documentation. All metropolitan departments, boards and commissions, along with all entities contracting with the metropolitan government, shall cooperate fully with the metropolitan auditor during such review or audit. Should the metropolitan auditor not be able to conduct such an independent audit due to an unwillingness to cooperate by departments, boards, commission or entities, the metropolitan auditor shall report such findings to the metropolitan audit committee and to the Budget and Finance Committee of the Metropolitan Council for further action. The metropolitan auditor shall have the authority to establish guidelines for conducting such audits and reviews.

Section 2. That this Ordinance shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsored by: Jim Shulman, Sheri Weiner, Mina Johnson

AMENDMENT NO. 1

TO

ORDINANCE NO. BL2017-581

Mr. President –

 

I move to amend Ordiance No. BL2017-581 as follows:

  1. By amending Section 1 by deleting referenced Section H it in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following new subsections H. through L. to the end of Section 2.24.300 as follows:

H. The metropolitan auditor, in conducting any reviews or audits, shall have full authority to conduct an independent investigation of any and all departments, boards and commissions of the Metropolitan Government, as well the performance of contracts by entities that contract with the Metropolitan Government. Such authority shall include, but is not limited to, the ability to review, research, and conduct interviews, along with the ability to have access to any and all necessary documentation. All metropolitan departments, boards and commissions, along with all entities contracting with the metropolitan government, shall cooperate fully with the metropolitan auditor during such review or audit. Should the metropolitan auditor not be able to conduct such an independent audit due to an unwillingness to cooperate by departments, boards, commission or entities, the metropolitan auditor shall report such findings to the metropolitan audit committee and to the Budget and Finance Committee of the Metropolitan Council for further action. The metropolitan auditor shall have the authority to establish guidelines for conducting such audits and reviews.

 

H.       Access to Records and Personnel.

To the extent permitted by the Metropolitan Charter the Division of Metropolitan Audit, with strict accountability for confidential and safeguarding records and information, shall have access to all Metropolitan Government’s records, agreements, information systems, physical properties, and personnel. Such authority shall include but is not limited to, the ability to review, research, and conduct interviews, along with the ability to have access to any and all necessary documentation as described in this subsection.  To the extent permitted by the Metropolitan Charter, all Metropolitan Government departments, boards, commissions, officers, agencies, or offices, along with all entities contracting with the Metropolitan Government shall co-operate fully with the Metropolitan Auditor during any such review or request to the fullest extent of applicable law. Any failure to cooperate with the Metropolitan Auditor shall be reported to the Audit Committee, Finance Director, Director of Law, and the Metropolitan Council.

  1. Other Audit Services.
  2. In addition to financial or performance services, the Division of Metropolitan Audit shall establish a process by which suspected illegal, improper, wasteful, or fraudulent activity could be reported.  The Metropolitan Auditor shall investigate, or cause to be investigated, all activity reported by this process. The disposition of all reports shall be communicated to the Metropolitan Nashville Audit Committee, Metropolitan Mayor, and Department of Law.
  3. No employees of the Metropolitan Government or its agencies shall suffer any retaliatory action for reporting to or cooperating with the Division of Metropolitan Audit or the Audit Committee as contemplated in TCA 9-3-406 and TCA 50-1-304.
  4. It shall be the duty of employees of the Metropolitan Government or its agencies to report any known act of intentional illegal, intentional fraudulent, or intentional improper use of government funds.

J.       Notice of Instance of Fraud, Waste, and Abuse.

          All reports of unlawful conduct completed in accordance with the State of Tennessee Local Government Instances of Fraud Reporting Act involving Metropolitan Government departments, boards, commissions, officers, or agencies shall be communicated in a timely manner to the Metropolitan Auditor.  Such reports shall also be communicated to the office of the Comptroller of the Treasury if so required by state law.

 

K.       Notice of Audit Activities.

          The engagement plans and final reports for all financial, performance, and other audit activities conducted on behalf of Metropolitan Government departments, boards, commissions, officers, agencies, or offices shall be communicated in a timely manner to the Metropolitan Auditor.

 

L.       Scope of Services.

To the extent permitted by the Metropolitan Charter the Division of Metropolitan Audit is authorized to conduct financial audits, performance audits, or other audit services including investigation and disposition of reported incidents of fraud as contemplated above in subsection I of this section and the Metropolitan Charter, concerning any department, board, commission, officer, agency, or office of the Metropolitan Government which receives direct services from or to which funds are appropriated by the Metropolitan Government or for which the Metropolitan Government provides a guarantee for long-term indebtedness. Departments, boards, commissions, officers, agencies, and offices of the Metropolitan Government means those entities which encompass all of the governmental and corporate functions previously performed by Davidson County and the City of Nashville existing at the formation of the Metropolitan Government, and any public entity whose existence is created or authorized by the Metropolitan Charter or the Metropolitan Council.  

Sponsored by: Jim Shulman, Mina Johnson

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

Introduced: February 7, 2017
Passed First Reading: February 7, 2017
Referred to:

Budget & Finance Committee
Rules, Confirmations, and Public Elections Committee

Deferred: February 21, 2017
Deferred: March 7, 2017
Amended: March 21, 2017
Passed Second Reading: March 21, 2017
Passed Third Reading:  
Approved:  
By:  
Next Consideration: April 4, 2017

Requests for ADA accommodation should be directed to the Metropolitan Clerk at 615/862-6770.